March 20, 2019

Cleaning Up A Stolen Credit Card

Looking over my credit card statement today on mint.com I noticed a few charges that I didn’t make. Notably, charges to Scholastic books, Disney DVD, and Blockbuster. Those suspicions were confirmed when UPS delivered a package of Disney DVDs to my door shortly thereafter.

Somebody has stolen my credit card number. I’m not really sure how this happened, as I only used this card for GoDaddy, Amazon, Netflix, Paypal, and iTunes. (basically, everything with recurring billing) Everything else I put on a different card.

Cleaning up the mess can be a bit tricky, but it can all be done within an hour or 2.

Here’s what you should do if you suspect your credit card has been stolen:

  1. Call the credit card company and tell them. Make sure you tell them all the charges you didn’t make, and then ask to cancel the card. They should send you a new card with a new number in the mail, as well as a form to sign about the fraud.
  2. Place a fraud alert on your credit report. This will require them to call you anytime somebody opens credit in your name.
  3. Order your credit report and check it for any accounts that you didn’t open. This is free once per year from each bureau – more on this later.
  4. Contact your financial institutions and put a phone password on your account. This way, when you call them they’ll ask you for the password. This stops the person from posing as you and getting even more of your information.

This may seem like a lot, but it’s all very simple to do. In fact, one of my company’s websites: freeIDENTITYprotect.com can do most of it for you for free. Free members can place fraud alerts and order their credit reports for free (honestly free, none of this monthly fee crap or other enrollment required stuff.)

Of course, you shouldn’t wait until you think your card has been stolen to place a fraud alert. It’s a good idea to do that anyway just in case.

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: www.RyanMJones.com